Keep a metre from the heater

Reproduced from Consumer – news section of website,, 1 May 2009

Keep your children safe this winter with the right nightwear and heater-safety rules.

On cold days kids love to snuggle up close to a heater, whether it's on a weekend morning watching TV while mum and dad catch an extra hour's sleep or before bedtime.

But heaters are a serious risk to small children – in the past five years at least four children have been badly burned because their nightwear caught fire. One child died as a result of the burns he received.

To keep your children safe this winter:

  • teach them the "keep a metre from the heater" rule and make sure they don't sit or walk closer than a metre to the heater or fire. If your child is very young use a safety guard.
  • buy them winter pyjamas that fit closely. It's tempting to allow room for growth but a flapping sleeve or a loose jacket could come into contact with a heater and catch fire.

Fire-risk labels

All children's nightwear must display a fire-risk label.

  • A red label means the garment is a high fire risk and is more suitable for summer wear.
  • An orange label is a warning to choose close-fitting options - you'll find it on brushed cotton pyjamas.
  • A white label means the garment is a lower fire risk. It does not mean there is no fire risk.

More from Its May 2008 news item detailing changes to children's nightwear labelling requirements – see Children's nightwear safety.

Published in consumer and occupational safety.